What Crash Victims Should Ask Before Agreeing to a Settlement
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Mar 18, 2022 in Car Accidents
Car crashes are inconvenient and expensive for everyone involved. Injured victims suddenly have an unexpected pile of medical bills and other costs to manage.
To vulnerable victims with little income, any settlement offer from the insurance company may sound like a lot of money. Unfortunately, quick settlements are typically too low because many crash-related costs are not included in these early offers. Accepting any offer too soon could cost you thousands of dollars since you are likely to run out of money before you pay for all your damages. Any additional expenses would likely have to come out of your own pocket.
At Goldberg Finnegan, we fight every day to help injured victims like you get maximum compensation, unlike insurance companies that care more about their own profits.
If you have a case, a qualified attorney can help you to get the full compensation you need. Our Silver Spring car accident lawyers deal with insurers every day and understand the tactics they use to devalue claims. If you have been injured through no fault of your own, why accept less than your claim’s full value? Call our firm 24/7 to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more.
FREE Case Review: (888) 213-8140
Questions to Ask Before You Agree to a Settlement
One of the biggest challenges of any car crash claim is negotiating a fair settlement. This is why experienced attorneys carefully consider the many aspects of a case to ensure the value they calculate is both accurate and fair.
When deciding if you should accept a settlement offer, the first step is to find out what is or is not included. Asking these key questions can help:
Are All of Your Related Medical Costs Included?
When crash victims agree to settle too soon, many of the final medical costs are not yet known. After any car crash injury, the full cost of your medical care cannot be fully known until you finish treatment. So if you are still being treated, the insurance company's offer is already too low.
Injured victims have a better chance of receiving fair compensation for their medical costs if they:
- Continue to follow-up with medical care as recommended by their treating doctor
- Be careful not to miss any appointments, as this could delay recovery
- Wait to negotiate a settlement until after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI)
Any medical costs that occur after your settlement is finalized become your responsibility. This is why it is important not agree to any settlement too quickly.
Will the Offer Fully Pay for Your Property Damages?
Medical costs are not the only damages crash victims need to recover. Your claim should also pay for any repair to or replacement of your vehicle. A victim should not have to pay for damages caused by someone else's negligence. Additionally, an offer should consider the diminished value of your vehicle following the crash.
Are Your Future Medical Expenses Calculated and Covered?
Future medical expenses cannot be determined before a victim reaches his or her MMI. It is only then that the doctor can provide an accurate long-term prognosis. At that point, the treating doctor can determine what future medical care a victim may need. For instance, victims with a spinal cord injury may require ongoing physical therapy and/or surgery.
Does the Settlement Offer Cover Your Pain and Suffering?
Some victims may not even know they may be eligible to recover compensation for their pain and suffering. These damages, which are harder to calculate and not easily proven, involve a victim’s:
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety or depression
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of a relationship with a spouse or other family member
A licensed attorney knows how to help victims collect evidence of their pain and suffering and calculate an accurate value.
Does the Offer Cover Any Reduced Ability to Earn in Your Career?
If you became permanently disabled as the result of your car crash, your career earnings may be drastically reduced. An early offer may not include these damages because they are difficult to assess early in the legal process. The insurance company knows that if you accept their lowball offer, they save money.
Can I Ask for More Money Later if My Injuries Get Worse?
It is important to understand that for any claim, you cannot seek more money after you agree to a settlement. There is no going back at that point. Defendants are released from any further liability once a settlement is finalized.
Should You Show Your Offer to a Qualified Attorney?
Yes, you should show your offer to a qualified attorney before agreeing to settle. There are many reasons for doing this. For instance, if you work with an experienced attorney, he or she:
- Wants to recover maximum compensation for you
- Knows how to spot a settlement offer that is too low
- Has extensive experience with car crash claims
- Understands insurers and how they try to lowball victims
- Handles all communication with the insurance company
- Helps you avoid making mistakes that could hurt your claim
- Guides you on how to document your injuries as you recover
- Understands how to accurately calculate the value of your claim
- Negotiates for maximum compensation on your behalf
- Has access to valuable legal resources that can help strengthen your claim
Some injured victims may initially think they can handle their car crash claim on their own. It is often only when victims realize they are in over their heads that they decide to seek legal help.
Injured in a Crash? Call Our Law Firm Before You Agree to Settle
Take the first step toward getting maximum compensation by seeking legal help today. At Goldberg Finnegan, we have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of our clients. Call our firm to get started today.
If you have a case, there are no upfront costs if you choose us to represent you. We also do not collect our fees while we work on your case. Our firm accepts car crash claims on contingency, so there is nothing to pay unless we first win compensation for you.
Experienced Lawyers. On Your Side. (888) 213-8140